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BREAKING: Another oil spill reported off northern Vancouver Island

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A second fuel spill in less than a week is fouling the ocean near Port McNeill.

An Environmental Emergency Response Officer with the B.C. Ministry of Environment received a report of a potential diesel spill near the Port Harvey Marine Resort, located about 60 km south of Port McNeill on East Cracroft Island in the Broughton Archipelago, on Friday afternoon.

According to the ministry's website, a private citizen reported fuel on the beach and in the water near the Port Harvey Marine Resort's marina.

A Canadian Coast Guard vessel was en route to assess the scene and deploy sorbent pads if necessary as an initial response measure, according to the ministry, which said additional response actions will be determined based on information collected during the Canadian Coast Guard's assessment. The ministry First Nation communities in the area have been notified.

Thomas Smith, a Tlowitsis First Nation councillor, told The Gazette none of his fellow members live in the area of the spill. He also said his First Nation does not have shellfish operations in the area.

Smith said he believed there were quite a few summer homes and cottages near the are of the spill.

The tank that leaked is believed to have a maximum capacity of 1,100 litres of diesel, according to the Ministry of Environment's website.

This spill comes less than a week after 600 litres of biodiesel was spilled  at a fish farm in Echo Bay just east of Port McNeill. Both the provincial and federal governments faced criticism over response times to that spill.

"Sounds like everyone was trying move quickly on this one," Smith said Friday afternoon about the response to the Port Harvey spill.

Smith said the bay in Port Harvey is a "nice place to moor and anchor out of a storm." He said while there are no commercial shellfish operations near the spill, "we are always concerned when diesel is spilled in the water."

"The marina owner has been contacted by the Environmental Emergency Response Officer and was sending an employee to check the site," said the ministry website. "The marina is currently closed for the season. It is unknown how much may have entered the environment at this time."

Transport Canada has already flown over the area.

For updates from the Ministry of Environment, visit:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/spills-environmental-emergencies/spill-incidents

 

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